Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First Blooms of 2010!

Houston, we have flowers! The crocuses are in bloom, and it is so lovely to see them. The dark purple are the first up, they seem to be a little more vigorous than the other colours, and are my personal favorite.

These pictures are for Northern Shade. Here is a crocus in the lawn, I lifted a few patches of sod last fall and tossed in a few handfuls of mixed small bulbs to see what would happen. I love the look of flowers in the grass, and if it goes well I will plant more later this year. So far, so good.

These are some new shoots of Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum), I think their shape is absolutely adorable.
Also new this week are the first shrub leaves In The Garden, on the little cotoneaster hedge. I really like the way this photograph turned out. The lilacs & willow look like they aren't too far behind.
Here, Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) is emerging... is D.spectabilis 'alba'. I was quite relieved to see it growing since I had moved no less than 3 or 4 times since planting it last summer. I think I finally found the perfect spot for it.
And here is a mini rose that I recently brought home, I really like the blended pink/apricot colour, they remind me of the lovely 'Morden Sunrise' that I hope to add this year. If I can keep these growing, I will plant them in my Miniature Garden, which you can see here, it is the one around the Weeping Birch.

(Why won't blogger let me add spaces between words & pictures? It looks ok in the preview but then when I 'Publish Post' it squishes them together :/)

Monday, March 29, 2010

A visit to a Glasshouse: The Enmax Conservatory

I much prefer the term glasshouse and despite being from Canada, I have decided to adopt it. (I may also switch to 'Ladybird' at some point, since it is so lovely.)

We recently spent some time at the Calgary Zoo, and visited the newly rebuilt Enmax Conservatory in the Dorothy Harvie Gardens. Here are a few pictures for you. The Butterfly Garden was still under development (ie being planted) and no butterflies yet. I hope to see them next time. They were filling in areas with colourful hydrangeas and lilies for Easter.

The tropical plants in the main part of the Conservatory were lush and healthy, and I really enjoy the combination of temperature, humidity and great earthy scents.

This palm was tall and beautiful, but upon closer examination looks very unfriendly with it's large and numerous spikes.

A nice grouping.

Beautiful colours on a large Copper Leaf

These fan shaped leaves were HUGE, and very impressive.

A nice Bromeliad, they always look somewhat prehistoric to me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

(Wordless) Wednesday: New...

New Growth:

Sweet William

Iris germanica 'Superstition'

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

Linum perenne 'blue sapphire' (flax)

Dwarf Iris

Dahila 'Edinburgh'

New Lattice Panels

for supervised containment of..

New Dog Daisy (she came with the name - honest).

Oops! Forgot to upload Daylily 'Raspberry Pixie'.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pretty Dancing Butterfly Plant

I took a trip to my favorite Garden Centre yesterday with Little Helper #1. As we were walking through the greenhouse a woman passed us carrying a plant. Little Helper exclaimed 'it lookes like a pretty dancing butterfly plant', so we went off in search of one. Here is Oxalis - Purple Shamrock, and it really does look like butterflies, the thin stalks sway at the slightest bit of air movement.

The pale lilac coloured flowers are a very dainty addition.

Oriental lily Miss Lucy also came home with us, and will be planted at the end of April (I'm putting that here as a reminder to self!)
Yesterdays first day of spring walkabout was rewarding, I didn't think the daffs would be emerging yet, but they are. Some are old, and some are new - it's especially nice to see new bulbs as I always worry about location/depth/inadequate soil drainage, so it's nice to know the bulbs survived the winter.

I have an old bed with a mix of green & burgundy shoots. I'm not sure what is causing this, it's possible that the dark ones are old tulips.

Hopefully from the little shoots, will come something like this...

I purchased this Calla recently, I just adore the shape of the blooms and although white is my favorite, the pink blush is very appealing.

This handcrafted daisy found it's way home with me a few days ago. It was made at a facility where physically and mentally handicapped adults operate a garden centre and gift shop, tending to the plants and making beautiful garden art (trellises from old windows, colourful birdhouses, welcome signs etc..) Now I need to find the right spot for it In The Garden.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Freaky Monday - Buchart Gardens & Area

I just can't wait until Friday to share these pictures with you! They were taken by Mr. In The Garden, he recently spent a day Victoria and I sent him armed with my back up camera and the instructions 'take some pictures for my blog'. I think they turned out beautifully.

There's nothing quite like a naturalized field of daffodils, I wish we had the climate to grow this here.

Tress are in bloom everywhere.

This is a camelia that I purchased some years ago as a gift, it seems to be growing well.

And here are some pictures from Butchart Gardens, this is the famous 'Sunken Garden',

And some pictures of indoor displays,

I really like the round water feature shown below.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dance of Joy! Signs of Spring.

There were definite signs of spring today! The first were some ladybugs in a sunny part of the yard, it was wonderful to see them again.

Next, I was walking up my front walkway, and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I noticed this next sign of spring. A crocus (a few actually) are starting to peek through. I'm so excited about this new bed, and look forward to seeing how it develops over it's first year.

I investigated the area a little further, and saw that my 'problem child' bed is slowly melting. I had completely forgotten that I moved some lamium into it last year, so it made for a pleasant surprise.

A little ways away, Sweet Woodruff is also emerging.

I had been worried about this little globe cedar, it had become frozen into ice in a terribly contorted and flattened state, and I didn't know if it would recover. It looked as if the branches might be damaged. Now it is free of winters clutches and is looking remarkably well.

I searched the area for more crocuses, and found a few. Then I came across these lovely shoots. I suspect it is a snowdrop. I have never planted them before, so it is especially nice to see them.

Let's hope it isn't too early for this new growth, I hope to have pictures of blooms to share with you fairly soon. I realize that the pictures here are primarily brown, and may not be much to get excited about, but perhaps you can see what I see?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Meconopsis seeds & Dahlia bulbs.

Those of you who follow my blog may know that I have the rule of thumb to not start seedlings indoors, for various reasons.

But sometimes things change. For example, this arrived in the mail the other day:

Leaving me with a mixed feeling of excitement and anxiety, in approximately equal parts. I am trying to decide the best method for stratification, so I will be searching your blogs for tips.

Leading to the purchase of a few items...

And then 3 Edinburgh Dahlias, just beacause. I rememeber seeing them in some of your blogs last fall (Lona? Catherine?) and falling for them. I have NO IDEA how to grow them, so any advice would be appreciated.

I hit the jackpot finding these great pots when out shopping at a discount houseware shop the other day. I think they will be lovely for a childs potted vegetable garden (patio tomatoes, strawberries and maybe green onions, chives or parsley).

Another great gardening find today was the 2010 plant list catalogue from my local centre, which I am mulling over with a fine toothed comb. My want list for this year has already grown considerably. Cool Splash Dwarf Honeysuckle (Diervilla sessilifolia 'LPDC Podaras') is a gorgeous white/green variegated shrub, and I have been impressed with pictures of Incrediball Hydrangea, but the description of 'Big blooms emerge lime green, change to pure white and mature to green' has my heart racing, since I love both green and white blooms. Now where am I going to put them all?

It feels like gardening season is starting, albeit slowly. Probably 10 weeks or so til it's time to plant annuals, but I have a bag of Sunshine Mix ready & waiting ( I swear these have become much heavier over the years!)

Happy Gardening, or at least Garden planning!